Central Florida Foundation Issues First Grant to Support Healing for Pulse Survivors

Better Together Fund Targets Nonprofits for Relief

August 05 2016


ORLANDO, Fla. (August 5, 2016) – Although six weeks removed from the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting, Orlando’s healing process is only just beginning. In support of the local community, Central Florida Foundation recently issued the first grant from its Better Together Fund. The grant of up to $122,000 to Heart of Florida United Way will support those directly impacted by the Pulse tragedy with basic needs, like rent, mortgage, utilities or other monthly expenses.

“The most pressing needs of the survivors at this point are basic needs, like rent, utility assistance and transportation,” said Robert H. (Bob) Brown, president & CEO of Heart of Florida United Way. “We are grateful for this much-needed contribution to alleviate some of the financial burden of those involved with the tragedy.”

Through the fund, Central Florida Foundation will respond to the community in two phases. The first phase will focus on immediate needs such as rent assistance for survivors and families until they receive compensation from the OneOrlando Fund and long-term mental health services; the second phase will support rebuilding and healing the LGBTQ and Latino communities; underlying causes of this tragic event (not policy and advocacy); and other needs we cannot anticipate until we face them.

“As the region’s community foundation, our purpose is to align local nonprofits around a mission of long-term rebuilding and healing,” said Mark Brewer, president and CEO of the Central Florida Foundation. “As we convened Latino, LGBTQ, faith, mental health and other community leaders, we identified critical gaps in resources, and in the weeks ahead we will make additional strategic grants to nonprofits directly assisting survivors and their families.”

During its “discovery phase,” the Foundation learned from Latino, LGBTQ, faith, mental health and other community leaders working on the ground to support survivors, families and the community at large to identify where the gaps are in our community as it moves toward stability. The Foundation distributes grants through an accountable, transparent grant-making process that enables the public to see exactly where funds are directed.

Contributors to the fund include the Winter Park Health Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, The Delta Air Lines Foundation, and Nationwide Insurance Foundation. To view the full list of donors and for regular updates on distributions, visit the Better Together fund’s website at: https://cffound.org/bettertogether.


About the Central Florida Foundation Central Florida Foundation is the place for people who want to invest in their community. The Foundation serves as the region’s community foundation and is home to more than 400 charitable funds. The Foundation manages and invests funds, offers personalized service and expert giving advice, connects caring people, businesses, governments and organizations to local initiatives that build and inspire community, and empowers them to make informed decisions that make a difference now and in the future. Central Florida Foundation works with individuals, families, businesses, professional advisors and nonprofits. Learn more at cffound.org.

About Heart of Florida United Way

Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity and the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs. Last year, it raised and managed $26.1 million throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. HFUW is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income, health and basic needs. It operates United Way 2-1-1, Central Florida’s information and assistance crisis, suicide and referral helpline; Volunteer Resource Center; Gifts In Kind Center; Emergency Homelessness
Services; and the Ryan White Part B program, which administers more than $2 million to provide HIV/AIDS services and referrals. HFUW impacts more than 600,000 individuals annually through its direct service and funded programs. United Way partners with local businesses, government, other charities to
increase awareness of local health and human service issues and to inspire hope, provide options and create possibilities for people in need. Visit www.HFUW.org for more information, or call (407) 835-0900.